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A Minimal, Statistical Model for the Surface Albedo of Vestfonna Ice Cap, Svalbard : Volume 6, Issue 2 (12/03/2012)

By Möller, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004022801
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 33
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: A Minimal, Statistical Model for the Surface Albedo of Vestfonna Ice Cap, Svalbard : Volume 6, Issue 2 (12/03/2012)  
Author: Möller, M.
Volume: Vol. 6, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Möller, M. (2012). A Minimal, Statistical Model for the Surface Albedo of Vestfonna Ice Cap, Svalbard : Volume 6, Issue 2 (12/03/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Geography, RWTH University Aachen, Templergraben 55, Aachen, Germany. The ice cap Vestfonna is located in Northeastern Svalbard and forms one of the largest ice bodies of the Eurasian Arctic. Its surface albedo plays a key role in understanding and modelling of its energy and mass balance. The principle governing factors for albedo evolution, i.e. precipitation and air temperature and therewith snowdepth and melt duration, were found to vary almost exclusively with terrain elevation throughout the ice cap. Hence, surface albedo can be expected to develop a comparable pattern. A new statistical model is presented that estimates this mean altitudinal albedo profile of the ice cap on the basis of a minimal set of meteorological variables on a monthly resolution. Model calculations are based on a logistic function of the artificial quantity rain-snow ratio and a linear function of cumulative snowfall and cumulative positive degree days. Surface albedo fields of the MODIS snow product MOD10A1 of the period March to October of the years 2001–2008 serve as a basis for both calibration and cross-validation of the model. The meteorological model input covers the period September 2000 until October 2008 and is based on ERA-Interim data of a grid point located close to the ice cap. The albedo model shows a good performance. The root mean square error between observed and modelled albedo values along the altitudinal profile is 0.057 ± 0.028 (mean ± one standard deviation). The area weighted mean even reduces to a value of 0.053. Distinctly higher deviations (0.07–0.09) are only present throughout the very lowest and uppermost parts of the ice cap that are either small in area or hardly affected by surface melt. Thus, the new, minimal, statistical albedo model presented in this study is found to reproduce the albedo evolution on Vestfonna ice cap on a high level of accuracy and is thus suggested to be fully suitable for further application in broader energy or mass-balance studies of the ice cap.

A minimal, statistical model for the surface albedo of Vestfonna ice cap, Svalbard

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